Labour Party ‘Broken to the core’

The Guardian has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/20/labour-party-broken-to-core-former-blair-minister-jane-kennedy

Jane Kennedy has form when it comes to fighting Militants as she battled against them in Liverpool’s Tuebrook Ward Labour Party back in Neil Kinnock’s day. Militant lost that battle of course but Momentum has very much won the battle for the Labour Party in 2019 and Jane has this time walked away from the party she has been a member of for many years.

It’s interesting, although probably not surprising, that she is backing Change UK the new political party which seems to have got pretty much everything wrong since it launched and is potentially facing a very short working life.

With thnaks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Politicians who evade or fear scrutiny are not the kind of people we should be electing

The Scotsman has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/farage-s-dislike-of-scrutiny-is-a-warning-to-the-electorate-leader-comment-1-4925761

Scrutiny of those in power whether they be running a Parish Council or the UK Government is crucial in a healthy functioning democracy. If you ever notice a politician trying to evade scrutiny then alarm bells should be ringing whomever they are.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

PS – As if to remind us all of this matter a Liverpool Echo article from 17th May had this line within it regarding Knowsley Borough Council:-

‘And changes to Knowsley’s constitution put forward by Labour were heavily criticised by opposition councillors who said they would reduce scrutiny of the council.’

Labour’s big hitting backers are turning their back on the party in disgust

When life long high profile supporters like Tony Robinson walk away from Labour you know it’s in trouble. The Independent has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-robinson-quit-labour-corbyn-a8898306.html

Another high profile former Labour baker, comedian Mike Harding, said this recently:-

Vot Lab. The Bail-Out Party. Overall it was a vote for the remain parties – 1000 seats lost to them. Lab for 56 yrs Active supporter. I and many more have left. You can bail the Tories out if you like – but we’re leaving in disgust for our childrens’ and grandchildren’s sakes.

As I say Labour’s in deep trouble and if its leadership really does bail out the Tories over Brexit, as it seems to be threatening to do, you can be sure that their troubles will deepen even more. Can anyone take the spade from Jez Corbyn, the hole he’s dug is very deep now…….

With thanks to Roy Connell and Keith Page for the leads to this posting

Social Care – It could cost over 50’s £300 per year

The Huffington Post has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/pay-for-social-care-with-extra-ps300-tax-bill-for-over-50s-suggests-damian-green_uk_5cc5a2ebe4b0fd8e35bd80d3?guccounter=1

Well the so called Dementia Tax went down like a lead balloon when Teresa May proposed it during the 2017 General Election and it was probably a significant factor in her losing her majority in the House of Commons. So, with that in mind, it takes a brave Tory to come up with another form of taxation aimed at the over 50’s this time just days before the 2019 local elections with the Tories already staring down the barrel of an electoral gun.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Ainsdale – When is a Police Station/Hub not one?

Ainsdale Station during rebuilding – October 2017

I’ve posted before about the rebuilding of Ainsdale Station on the Liverpool – Southport Northern Line of Merseyrail. My most relevant blog about it is accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/04/ainsdale-railway-station-its-going-to-have-a-police-station-on-its-platform-like-town-green-station/

And a quick reminder of the Southport Visitor newspaper story of 2nd August 2017:-

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/ainsdale-getting-new-police-station-13422778?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

Now if I told you that it seems the Police Hub is hardly, if at all, in use still in April 2019 you may be a little surprised based on on previous publicity. Who’s got the key? Is there any internet available? When will the girls and boys in blue be using it I wonder?

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Thinking back about the SDP & the parallels with the TIG

My good friend and fellow blogger Phil Holden has recently been pondering on the issue of the new Independent Group in the HofC and in doing so reflecting on the rise and fall of the SDP. His posting is accessible via this link:-

phlhldn.blogspot.com/2019/02/so-chuka-chucked-it-in-for-what.html

One particular part of Phil’s posting stood out for me and it is this:-

‘The SDP foundered in part on whether it should be a party of the left, taking on Labour in a fight to the death, as David Owen wanted, or a centre-party that cosied up to the Liberals, as Roy Jenkins wanted. Jenkins of course won that one.’

As someone who had only joined the old Liberal Party on New Years Day 1980* I was very new to politics when the SDP came along soon after and then I was swept along in the tide that was the famous Crosby by-election**. Heady days indeed but my perspective is just a little different to Phil’s.

Firstly, I think it is fair to say that we Liberals looked upon David Own as a stubborn difficult person with rather right-wing views (who seemed obsessed with NATO for some odd reason) but that the other 3 of the Gang of 4 were to the left of him and far more in tune with Liberal values. Liberals have always been at their best when they espouse radical and left of centre views. Attempts to look moderate or centrist will always fail in my book.

So I saw Owen, Rodgers, Williams and Jenkins from the other end of the telescope to Phil, indeed in my view Owen was probably a big factor in the failure of the SDP along with our appallingly warped electoral system of course. We Libs often referred to Owen as ‘Dr Death’, probably because we feared he would kill us off along with the SDP. In truth he nearly did but we survived and prospered until we tried to commit ritual suicide in the Clegg era on a worryingly moderate platform with one infamous and devastating political U-turn – Tuition Fees.

That there was no love lost between the Liberals and Owen to me is a given and it will be interesting to see whether anyone from the IG starts to fill Owen’s boots again – I hope they don’t but fear they might. And I say that because in my experience many in the Labour Party hold views that are well to the right of us Liberals.

And just to be nostalgic, my abiding memory of the Crosby By-election was a public meeting in Deyes High School, organised by the SDP/Liberal Alliance. It was packed out and standing room only. Obviously, Shirley was there as the soon to be winning candidate, along with Roy Jenkins and Joe Grimond the former Liberal leader who had saved his party from the political wilderness in the 1960s. Being in the same hall as these 3 was wonderful to a fresh-faced political lad like me. Ah memories……

And talking of SDP/Liberal Alliance memories, whilst I’m at it, here’s another story told to me by my very good friend Roy Connell. One day during the heady days of the Alliance he was asked in to drive Roy Jenkins and BBC reporter Kate Adie on an open-top tour of parts of Liverpool. It seems that at one point he had to pull up sharply and Jenkins and Adie were thrown around a bit. Roy can still hear ringing in his ears the words ‘steady driver’ from Jenkins.

* I had read the 3 main party manifestos for the 1979 General Election and concluded I was a Liberal.

** I lived (and still do) in that constituency (now named Sefton Central) and got to know Shirley Williams well. She is indeed a lovely person and the fact that she became a life-long friend of Anthony Hill the already selected Liberal candidate for the seat (who stepped down for her to be the Alliance candidate) says a lot about how well the SDP and Liberals got on in our part of the world back in the early 1980s and indeed many of my friends in the present Lib Dem Party are former SDP activists.